Short Story Review: “What Happens When You Wake Up in the Night” by Michael Marshall Smith

3 of 5 stars.

The imagination of kids arises in this tale, with all of its fears in place. However, when the child might actually be on to something, it’s the adults in for the real shock.

Maddy is afraid of the dark. So she gets a night light. Which her mother turns off after Maddy is sound asleep. When Maddy wakes in the middle of the night without a light, she tends to wake up her parents.

A deal is struck: Maddy stays out of her parents room and she gets to keep the light on all night.

Maddy wakes in the dark and cold. She cannot find her light or its switch. Nor her robe that hangs from her door or the door knob so she can get her parents. Her mom awakens and chastises Maddy for breaking their deal to find out that Maddy thinks she’s still in her room. Mom and Dad think they are in their room, but nobody can find a window, or switch, or door . . .

This short story was included in the anthology The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2010 edited by Paula Guran.
 
 
 
[Check out my other reviews here.]

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